Social workers wear a lot of hats and play many roles in society today, including being advocates for those with disabilities. Social workers can help connect those with any type of disability with resources and networks to aid and assist; social workers can also help support individuals trying to obtain benefits for their disabilities, such as SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) after an injury or illness.
Did you know that National Social Workers Month is in March? Social Work Month is a time to celebrate the versatile and multifaceted profession of social work- including disability social workers who may assist, advocate, and support those with physical limitations or mobility issues.
Social Work Month 2020
The theme for Social Work Month 2020 is “Social Workers: Generations Strong.” Often-times, the call to be in a helping profession is handed down from one generation to the next. There is an inherent desire to be a part of growth and change in others, groups, communities, and societies, widely. Social workers have been on the forefront of American crises and societal issues for centuries, from advocates for marginalized populations in the early to mid-1900s, to those battling for equality among disenfranchised demographics today.
Disability Social Work
Disability social workers are typically simply referred to as social workers, yet they may play a role in community organizations or agencies that work with individuals living with physical or mental disabilities. Some of the varied roles that this social worker may play include case management tasks, tracking appointments, advocacy regarding benefits or entitlements, and interpersonal therapeutic interventions, such as talk therapy or family meetings. Among these tasks and roles, the most important may be establishing and building a rapport with the client. It is this trust and relationship that lays the foundation for future recovery and growth.
A social worker that serves disabled clients may be the perfect advocate when it comes to engaging insurance carriers and providers over costs related to mobility aids and equipment. Many times, insurance is slow to cover their portion of the cost, which can rack up bills and stress among those needing these devices. Furthermore, these social workers may work directly with the mobility aids vendor to obtain and secure the devices and equipment needed to preserve autonomy, increase accessibility, and improve quality of life.
An Invaluable Liaison
Social workers of all kinds are basically known for their ability to connect and network, invaluable skills when seeking to obtain resources for a client or individual. Social workers have their finger on the pulse of what is- and is not- available in the community that they serve, from soup kitchens and homeless shelters to practitioners and vendors. Whether you have been injured or ill and are seeking benefits due to an inability to work or if you are experiencing shortfalls in meeting your day to day needs, a social worker can help. Social workers are often available on a walk-in basis at community resource centers and clinics, but your primary care physician can also help with a referral.
It is also possible that you are already assigned a social worker and are underutilizing their skill sets. Ask about resources that may make life easier for you as you live with a physical limitation or disability. For example, are there local organizations that help build ramps for individuals that require them for access to their home? How about food pantries that serve the local demographic? These are questions that your social worker- or your case manager- should be able to aptly address.
If you are struggling with a disability, but have not yet been deemed disabled, a social worker may be able to help you document your journey and issues adequately for your entitlements. While they can’t approve or disapprove your application, they can attest to how they help you and the nature of your disability, if needed. They can also help you navigate the often tricky world of disability-related paperwork that can become overwhelming for many.
Social workers play a key role in helping others adapt, adjust, and excel in circumstances, including disability or mobility limitation. From lining up necessary services and networks to simply providing a supportive ear to listen, social workers are the unsung heroes of the medical field. Talk to your primary providers about social workers and how you may benefit from their diverse experience and expertise.
When you are ready to peruse your options regarding mobility aids and devices, come see the industry experts at Pacific Mobility; their team of mobility aid professionals can help identify the best equipment for your distinct needs and living situation. We provide top of the line brand-names, like Bruno stairlifts, and full installation with each purchase. Call to talk to our representatives and learn more today!
President, Husband, Father, Grandfather Graduate of UC Davis- Bio Sci Major- Go Aggies! Jeff has extensive experience in all of Pacific Mobility’s products and services, and specializes in accessibility products as well as stairlifts, ceiling lifts and custom wheel chairs. His hobbies include spending time with family, gardening, mountain biking, exercising and off road motorcycle riding.
24 years as Owner/President of Pacific Mobility Center – selling, installing, and servicing stairlifts, porch lifts, ceiling lifts, pool lifts, handicap ramping, specialty wheelchairs, scooters, power wheel chairs, and other power mobility devices
Certified Environmental Access Consultant since 2008
Licensed General Contractor since 1998
Certified Aging in Place Specialist since 2016
Board Member for Home Access Professionals
Member of Association of Members of the Accessibility Equipment Industry (AEMA)